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» June 1, 2007 «
A settlement among the California Farm Bureau, other consumer advocates and Pacific Gas and Electric Company will result in improved services for farm energy customers. Under the agreement, PG&E will establish a dedicated toll-free phone number to answer questions from agricultural customers. It will also keep open public service counters at 75 local offices. The state Public Utilities Commission approved the agreement this week.
Weather has been ideal for processing tomato farmers this year. It's a big contrast from last season, when cold, wet weather hampered planting and growth. The warm, dry spring has accelerated growth in tomato fields. So far there have been no reports of quality issues or insect problems. A government report issued yesterday (Thursday) adds that production of processing tomatoes could rise 18 percent this season.
Winegrape growers have declared California an independent nation … at least as far as wine production is concerned. A new promotion program led by the California Association of Winegrape Growers uses the slogan, "One Nation Under Vines." The organization inaugurated the campaign in New York City this week. It stresses the preponderance of family-owned grape farms and their work developing sustainable, environmentally sound winemaking practices.
As summer approaches, consumption of white wine varieties will increase. White wine sales rise slightly in summer, according to an A.C. Nielsen report. At the same time, market analysts say consumers continue to increase their consumption of pinot noir, a red wine. Another variety making a comeback is Riesling. Demand has grown so fast that some wineries must import juice to supplement California-grown grapes.Top